Subestación eléctrica incluida como foto en el artículo de soluciones energéticas para territorios insulares

Energy solutions for island territories: An integrated approach

Energy solutions.- Island territories face unique challenges in their energy transition, with highly complex situations such as that experienced this summer in the Canaries. They require an integrated approach that harmonises maintenance and renovation of equipment in their existing electrical infrastructures, with a drive towards renewable generation (for example, photovoltaic) and hybrid storage systems, which would allow controlled and stable regulation of the energy, depending on the generation and/or demand peaks of the system.

At ZGR, we are seeking solutions to ensure island electricity supply. An example is our collaboration in the ISLANDER project, which has finance from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 programme. This project is focused on the decarbonisation of European islands through smart management of the energy and local flexibility. ISLANDER combines the integration of various renewable energy sources with advanced storage and energy management systems, which demonstrates how energy solutions with a broad base and advanced technology and power electronics catalyse the transition to a sustainable energy future.

But, furthermore, we are also providing innovative solutions in the bids that the island’s large energy distributors and suppliers request in their tenders to respond to island energy needs.

Energy solutions in energy storage system: the necessary commitment to ensure the electricity supply on islands

If energy storage is an essential element in energy transmission, in island territories its development is critical not only for the mass adoption of renewable energy but also for regulating and stabilising the grid, for example in the summer when there is very significant increase in energy demand. We are talking about one of the most important energy solutions at this time.

The hybrid storage systems, such as the developments by ZGR, are essential for overcoming this obstacle. These systems allow the storage of the excess energy during periods of high generation and to release it when the demand is high, to provide stability and reliability to the grid. And, furthermore, to do it by storing energy from different sources (from the conventional electricity grid and from various renewable sources).

An example of the action in this area is the projects that we have submitted to the Energy PERTE for the Canary Islands. As regards the above, ZGR has quoted 25 MW of power and 68 MWh of energy for Iberdrola, divided into six projects where frequency regulation is the key element. The six projects are for hybridisation of PV solar plants.

In the island territories, energy storage is critical, not only for the mass adoption of renewable energy, but also for regulating and stabilising the grid.

Furthermore, we have also quoted 10 MW of power and 20 MWh of energy for Naturgy, divided into three projects, also for frequency regulation. These three are also projects the hybridisation of PV solar plants.

Maintenance and modernisation of electricity grids: the need for coordinated actions

Even though a firm commitment must be made to generation from renewable sources, to storage and modernisation of grids in order to convert them into smart and distributed grids, as long as this goes on conventional electricity infrastructures must continue to remain active. Therefore, their equipment maintenance and renewal must continue to be invested in, in order to lengthen their useful life and prevent electricity supply problems in the event of any incident or fault due to obsolescence, as occurred, for example, in La Gomera this summer.

We are also adding value in this area, as we have our own technical service which is highly specialised in corrective,  preventive and predictive maintenance. It supports the distributor by providing equipment and knowledge for the perfect operation of its current grid and providing energy solutions to its problems.

Towards smart and distributed grids: a look towards the future in the search for energy solutions

The transformation of the conventional electricity grid into a smart and distributed grid is the crucial step in optimising energy management. Smart devices, sensors and advanced communication systems allow the efficient monitoring and controlling of energy flow, by responding in real time to demand generation fluctuations.

The situation experienced in the Canaries is just one example of the challenges that island territories face in their path towards energy sustainability. However, with the combination of infrastructure maintenance and renovation, renewable generation, hybrid storage and modernisation of the grid, it is not only possible to overcome these challenges, but also to lead the way to a cleaner and more secure energy future.

Companies like ZGR, a national manufacturer of advanced energy transmission and distribution devices, storage systems (conventional and hybrid), solar inverters and other innovative solutions based on the command of power electronics, demonstrate that energy solutions are within our reach.

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